After a far-from-predictable 2020, it can be hard to ascertain what will happen during Earth’s next orbit around the sun. However, the year-that-wasn’t left us more robust and more capable than ever and, armed with our expert tips, you can make 2021 your strongest, healthiest year yet. With that in mind, we’re on hand to guide you through what the new year will bring for your workouts, nutrition and your wellness. Here’s to a 2021 spent in rude health.
FITNESS AND TRAINING
It’s not just hot air — breathwork, the technique of mastering your breathing for improved health, fitness and clarity of mind, is set to skyrocket in 2021. And, it seems, most of us are missing out. By breathing through your mouth, you’re drawing air primarily into your upper lungs. Master nasal breathing, however, and you’ll carry air far deeper into your lungs and improve oxygenation by up to 15%. Don’t believe us? Take findings from a Chartered Society of Physiotherapy study, which proved that test subjects could nasal breathe at 85% of their workout capacity. Ready to get started? Third Space Master Trainer, Clare Walters, walks you through three techniques right here.
Don’t feel like hitting the gym? New, on-demand workout apps will bring the weights room to your home and transform the way you see at-home fitness. In 2021, try Third Space’s virtual and on-demand fitness classes, led by London’s best trainers. Available on our exclusive member’s app, you can get your weekly fitness fix, book classes and hand-pick workouts from the app’s bespoke workout library, from guided meditation flows and yoga flows to high-intensity workouts and bodyweight sessions.
Whether you’ve earmarked your 2021 resolutions or not, a new year always presents ample opportunities to turn your hand to something new. And, with a well-rounded approach to health and fitness taking many forms, a new sport — rock climbing, for example, will have its’ debut in the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympics this year, so strap in at our Canary Wharf club — that challenges both body and mind will present a welcome change of pace for many in the new year.
It’s no secret that a sedentary WFH lifestyle can wreak havoc on your posture and make you more prone to little niggles, pains and prangs throughout the day. However, when your home gym is just metres away from your home office, you can fight against back, shoulder and neck pain more regularly, by incorporating regular stretching into your schedule. Bookmark 15 minutes in your day to work through these five simple stretches from Henry Howe, Osteopath and PT at Third Space.
LIFESTYLE AND WELLNESS
You don’t have to sweat through a 45-minute weights session to deliver a blow to stress levels and help improve focus. Instead, swathes of us will be utilising the new wave of low-intensity fitness — including yoga, pilates, barre and mobility — that peaked in the latter months of 2020 to deliver a one-two blow to work-induced stress and January blues. By exercising at a slower pace, you’ll help boost muscle endurance, promote blood flow and aid recovery. Not bad.
According to Alcohol Change UK, around 6.5m people plan to cut out or cut down on alcohol when 2021 rolls in, starting with Dry January — a campaign that encourages people to go a month alcohol-free. It’s no surprise, really as one in five people (22%) have felt concerned about the amount they have been drinking since COVID-19 restrictions began in March. Currently, it’s thought that around a quarter of under-25s in Britain are now teetotal. So, if you want to call last orders on your habit, know this — it only takes five hours of exercise per week to lower your mortality risk, according to a University College London study.
Eco Gym Wear
From trainers to post-gym face scrubs and reusable water-bottles to bags, every facet of your gym locker will soon be responsibly sourced. Predictably, larger brands are leading the charge here. This includes adidas, with “Parley for the Oceans”, a campaign fighting plastic pollution by intercepting plastic and turning into sportswear; INOV-8, who are building up to 50% longer-lasting shoes; and Vivo Barefoot’s Primus Lite II — a 70% plant-based shoe with an algae foam. Want to blend style and sustainability? Cop Lululemon’s Engineered Warmth Jacket. Check out more of our top picks here.
Outdoor Workouts Get the Green Light
Needless to say, the weights room is deserving of its place in any well-balanced training programme, but if 2020 taught us one thing, it’s that Mother Nature is an unbeatable personal trainer. Outdoor classes, run sessions, rooftop yoga sessions and balcony WODs bookended our year in fitness, so why not sweat it out with your bubble with these 3 partner outdoor workouts. If science is to be believed, research from Harvard University shared that regularly hitting an outdoor workout could lead to a 12% longer life. Bookmark that for summer.
Stephanie Goold, DipION MBANT CNHC and Registered Nutritional Therapist
The term ‘climatarian’ refers to people campaigning to stop global warming by altering their eating habits. For a climatarian, it’s not so much about the type of food you eat (such as meat, fish, dairy), but rather the carbon footprint you are leaving behind after you’ve eaten your food. Foods that are produced generating the least environmental impact are favoured over anything else. High carbon footprint foods, such as meat and dairy, are eliminated and replaced in favour of eating only locally grown and seasonal foods.
Ensuring optimal micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) levels is essential for supporting all areas of health, including immunity, cardiovascular and lung health; and muscular, skeletal and emotional wellbeing. For example, in recent months, vitamin D in particular has been referenced in connection to Covid-19, with low levels of vitamin D being associated with severe outcomes from the respiratory virus. This vitamin, however, is also essential for other bodily functions, including your overall injury risk and retention of muscle mass (University of Birmingham). You can get Vitamin D through foods such as salmon, egg yolks or mushrooms.
Vitamin D status can also be checked by your GP. This can also be arranged through a registered nutritional therapist or dietician, as well as other vitamin/mineral and health markers.
Scientific findings may change over the years, and unsubstantiated pseudo-science fad diets come and go, but one thing that has remained a constant is that we should all be eating more vegetables. The phytochemicals contained in all plant foods – beans, legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables act as antioxidants protecting our cells from free radicals, reducing risk of developing certain types of cancer and chronic diseases.
They also contain fibre which is vital for keeping us regular, detoxification, to feed our gut microbes, for immunity, mental/emotional health (gut-brain axis connection), nutrient absorption and even affects the way our bodies store fat, therefore influencing our weight.
As most of us have been cooking during quarantine, priorities have shifted towards creating healthy and affordable meals at home. Online cooking courses have been successful in building confidence in the kitchen so that people can go away inspired to create their own dishes. Many will be looking towards more health conscious and economical eating.